GrammarPhile Blog

Vocabulary Test: Political Words

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Sep 20, 2011 5:30:00 AM

Political picketersAre you the reigning politico among the political junkies around your office water cooler this week? Or have you sworn to watch nothing but movie channels, ESPN Classic, and (is it this bad?) those cable sales channels? If the former, read on and test your savviness. If the latter, well, put that "Donald Trump is MY President" bumper sticker on your car, and reach for your clicker right now.

1. agitprop: (a) a revolutionary doctrine by which workers seize control of the economy and the government by direct means (as a general strike); (b) political propaganda promulgated chiefly in literature, drama, music, or art; (c) the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group; (d) one holding office in a government or political party.

2. punditocracy: (a) lack of flexibility and initiative combined with excessive adherence to regulations in the behavior of usually government officials; (b) a system by which appointments and promotions in the civil service are based on competence rather than political favoritism; (c) government by the wealthy; (d) a group of powerful and influential political commentators.

3. duopoly: (a) a political theory that absolute power should be vested in one or more rulers; (b) a system that allows each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch so as to prevent any one branch from exerting too much power; (c) a territory historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another; (d) preponderant influence or control by two political powers.

4. goo-goo: (a) a member or advocate of a political reform movement; (b) one characterized by political deviation; (c) jargon held to be characteristic of government officials; (d) intellectuals who form an artistic, social, or political vanguard or elite.

5. roorback: (a) a person who is professionally unscrupulous especially in the practice of law or politics; (b) a defamatory falsehood published for political effect; (c) a former liberal espousing political conservatism; (d) a period during which the normal functions of government or control are suspended.

6. groupuscule: (a) a government in which power is vested in two rulers or authorities; (b) a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; (c) a small group of political activists; (d) an all-powerful government or organization monitoring and directing people's actions.

7. kleptocracy: (a) government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed; (b) the view that politics is amoral and that any means however unscrupulous can justifiably be used in achieving political power; (c) a seeking to deprive usually political enemies of position or influence; (d) an arrangement in which the financial holdings of a person in an influential position (as a government official) are placed in the control of a fiduciary in order to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

8. gynecocracy: (a) the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; (b) political supremacy of women; (c) a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups; (d) organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.

9. come-outer: (a) to travel from place to place making brief stops (as in a political campaign or a promotional tour); (b) an unscrupulous adventurer especially in politics or business; (c) a political candidate unexpectedly nominated usually as a compromise between factions; (d) a person who advocates political reform.

10. particularism: (a) partiality to cronies especially as evidenced in the appointment of political hangers-on to office without regard to their qualifications; (b) a theory of government based on functional rather than territorial representation; (c) a political theory that each political group has a right to promote its own interests and especially independence without regard to the interests of larger groups; (d) a policy of national isolation by abstention from alliances and other international political and economic relations.

Go here for the answers!

Topics: word test, vocabulary test

Subscribe to Email Updates

Sign up for our emails!

Sign Up

Search Our Blog

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all